Compatibility [02] Cassettes - article comments

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To prevent article pages from being miles long, but preserve all the useful questions and answers provided over time, I've decided to copy/paste the website comments to the forum - and "move" further discussions here.

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Compatibility [02] Cassettes

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  1. Razvan
    05/08/2016 at 12:47
    Hi, do you have any idea if a new veloce 9 speed cassette ultra-drive would work with a 1997-98 campy ergos and rear derailleur?
    Thank you!
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      07/08/2016 at 21:09
      If your ergos are 9 speed and they are compatible with your RD, no reason a 9 speed cassette wouldn’t work.
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    05/04/2018 at 08:55
    can anyone tell me if a Conversion Kit Fixie Bike Single Speed Shimano Adaptor
    will fit or work rather on a Bafang 36V/48V 500W High Speed Brushless Geared DC Fat Tire Rear Wheel Hub Motor cause the hub motor splines seem to look the same as a shimano rear cassette hub at least to me anyway any help would be really appreciated thank you
    oh I did not know how to leave pictures of the things I am asking about but they are both sold on ebay
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    06/04/2018 at 02:39
    thank you very much for the response I really do appreciate it I hope they will work I will try it anyway so thanks
  4. e6af9c2703f3db65ecf8d3d0bcffce8e.jpg

    06/04/2018 at 21:42
    I will let you know what the final result is it will not be until I get the wheel back from the guy lacing the motor he only does regular rims not ebikes but he is doing it as a favor if it is not compatible I actually did find a single speed conversion kit on the luna cycle site that has a cog and spacers so there are options but I will give a detailed followup once I finish the project like I say it will be 1-2 months before I get everything back so but thanks for the inquire and the help I do appreciate it this is all new to me and trial and error
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    31/05/2019 at 14:00
    Hello Folks,
    i’m planning to upgrade my bike which is 4300D Trek 2009 make. one can find the specs in below link.
    i want to change existing rear cassette, shifter, and mechnical disc brakes.
    cassette: SRAM PG-830 8 SPEED CASSETTE, 11-32T
    shifter: Shimano EF50, 8 speed
    Brakeset: Shimano M415, mechanical disc w/Shimano EF50 levers
    chain: SRAM PC-830 8 SPEED CHAIN
    am planning to change specs to
    cassette: SRAM PG-950 9 SPEED CASSETTE ,11-34T
    chain : SRAM PC-951 9 SPEED CHAIN
    Now the question is, which shifter and hydraulic disc brake i have to use ? does the existing derailleur do the job with above mentioned changes? any other things that i need to change/take care for this upgrade?
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      31/05/2019 at 14:19
      My first question when people ask about upgrades is:
      What is lacking with the current setup?
      Do you need lower gearing, higher gearing, or really need an extra gear ratio in between the existing?
      There are 8 speed 11-34 cassettes, a bit cheaper than 9 speed ones usually.
      Factory Alivio RD is very good – if set up properly (like any other).
      For switching to 9 speeds, you’d need to replace the (rear, right hand) shifter, cassette and the chain – nothing else.
      For brakes, Avid mechanical BB5 are good, BB7 even better. That would allow you to keep the brake levers if they aren’t integrated with the 8 speed shifters (i think EF50 are, unfortunately) AND you want to change to 9 speeds as well. EDIT: that is – if sticking with 8 speeds, old levers integrated with shifters would work.
      If going for hydraulic brakes, Shimano Deore are good, while being relatively reasonably priced.
Last edited:
  1. Harsha
    31/05/2019 at 20:31
    I really don’t need an upgrade. Below are the existing condition:
    1.since existing 8speed cassette and chain has worn out. So, need to replace these.
    2. And I ride this bike in country side during monsoon and winters. So existing mechanical discs were not good at wet conditions.
    Considering above two points I thought of changing it from 8 to 9spd. So what is best ? Please suggest which works out with less $$.
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    31/05/2019 at 21:22
    I personally prefer lower number of rear sprockets – the system gets more durable/robust. Especially in harsh conditions. So, if it were me, I’d stay with 8 speeds (my “workhorse” bike has 7 speed cassette and friction shifters). My dedicated winter bike (for salty roads to eat away slowly) is 1996 steel 26″ MTB with 6 speed cassette and, again, friction shifters – so no problems if cables get almost frozen – just a stronger tug. 🙂
    If frozen cables are a worry (for winter riding) in harsh winters then, yes, going with Hydraulic brakes makes sense (Shimano Deore are good).
    Our winters are seldom below -10 Celsius and I live in flat lands, so cable rim brakes have worked fine for me. With such winters, on hilly terrain, mechanical discs should be fine. Your bicycle’s brakes aren’t very poor quality, should work decently if properly set up (and with good and properly routed cables and housing).
    Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes are very good – and that upgrade would be relatively cheap (buying only brake calipers and discs if the current ones are in poor condition), keeping the current brake levers.
    Not sure if I’ve properly explained everything, let me know if you need any more info, or clarification on something.
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      01/06/2019 at 07:44
      While writing this I forgot to mention that even rear shifters has gone bad . So if am changing the shifters as well. What should i consider? I have decided to go with the 8spd + mechanical disc. So which shifters are good enough to my existing set up?
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      01/06/2019 at 08:16
      For new ones, Shimano makes only Altus class in 8 speeds as far as I know.
      You might be able to dig out an old/left Acera shifter pair, like this one for example.
      Acera are quite good.
      I went friction shifting mode and sticking with it, using a pair of shifters like these ones. But got them for a cheap price. Durable – indestructable 🙂 – and work in all conditions, with any cassette I throw at the back.
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    02/06/2019 at 20:37
    Thank you so much for your inputs, now all my doubts are clear. Finally found Acera shifters here with some local dealer. Now am waiting for bb7 callipers. Thanks a lot. ?
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      03/06/2019 at 09:07
      You’re welcome. 🙂
      In my experience, Avid BB7 are probably (among) the best mechanical bicycle disc brakes.
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    03/01/2020 at 22:28
    Dear Relja, many thanks for the post. I use a Campagnolo Veloce 9-speed RD (mid-size cage). Combined with DT index shifters also from Campagnolo as well as a Campagnolo 13-26 cassette. I want to change the cassette to a wider range such as 11-34 but the largest cassette Campagnolo is offering for this model is 13-28. If I have understood your article correctly there is not much I can do about it, correct? Or can you think of any wide range cassette that could work (SRAM is the closest to Campagnolo considering pitch and sprocket thickness. Any thoughts? Many thanks, Raphael
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      04/01/2020 at 10:35
      Shimano and SRAM 9 speed cassettes have the same pitch.
      Things to consider:
      Rear derailleur chain wrap capacity and maximum size of rear sprocket it can handle. I explained those terms in the post about rear derailleurs.
      Explanation of how to handle if the chain wrap capacity is not enough is given in the post about chain length for bicycles with derailleurs.
      B screw can be turned in to allow for the RD to accept a bit larger cog that it was designed for. Sometimes, screwing it in the other way round, from the opposite side, does the trick, or using a longer screw. This depends on the RD and RD hanger design. Not always possible.
      Now that’s out of the way, I would say that cassette pitch is close enough. Will it work acceptably well for your use case? Only you can tell (do let me know if you give it a try – might help anyone else with the same dilemma). For example, similar mismatch has worked for this bicycle with 11 speed Shimano drivetrain:
      In this case, mismatch is just over 0.15 mm, while in your case (9 speed Campagnolo vs 9 speed Shimano/SRAM), the mismatch is about 0.2 mm – could turn out to be just a tad too much. Then again, I expected the same for the 11 speed experiment – but it works perfectly fine after several months now. 🙂
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    Ty Beaus
    11/05/2020 at 18:32
    Hey Team!
    Looking for some help, im quite new to the cycling world but im here now and i love it. I got an old bike gifted to me, its a 1993 Specialized Allez sport. I want to upgrade the cassete to have a bigger ring, its an 8 speed 11-25, the thing is a beast. Ive read dozens of pages trying to find out for myself but i just cant sem to grasp it. Does anyone have a recomndation on what size cassste will be compatible? Does any 8 speed work? If you can even send me a link to amazon that would be great or some links to some literature that would do to! Thanks in advance!
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      11/05/2020 at 19:00
      For a useful answer, it would take a bit more information. It’s fairly simple.
      Firstly, whether it is a freehub, or a freewheel cassette.
      Also, in case of a freehub cassette, it depends on whether it is a Shimano compatible one, or a Campagnolo. Campagnolo cassettes generally don’t fit Shimano freehubs (and vice-versa).
      Next thing to worry about is the rear derailleur capacity – and max cog size.
      There is a workaround in case derailleur’s chain wrap capacity isn’t sufficient, but in case its largest acceptable cog is too small, a special adapter is needed, or a new derailleur. This depends on how the derailleur is attached to the frame.
      This video shows the adapter in action, while video’s description contains an Amazon link for the adapter:
      So, there are some caveats and things to consider. I think such stuff is best thought out before spending any money.
      I’ve provided a lot of reading material, without having answered the question. However – think it is better to be cautious, than give any wrong advice. Time spent figuring it all out, in my opinion at least, is a time well spent – making one more knowledgeable, more independent, and able to help themselves.
      Having said that, this is a wild guess without any additional info, but if I were forced to guess, I’d try Sram 12-28 cassette, or, if even more teeth are needed, Shimano Tourney 12-32 – the latter one is more likely to cause problem for the rear derailleur because of the largest cog size.
      In case the wheel uses a freewheel cassette – the above linked cassettes won’t fit it. Also, if it’s a wheel (hub that is) for a Campagnolo cassette, those cassettes won’t fit. Either way – more info and looking into it will be “safer”.
      Hope this helps, at least a bit.
  1. Muhammed Mansour
    28/05/2020 at 23:34
    I have 9 speed Shimano Alivio trigger + 9 speed Sunrace cassette 11-40T + 10 speed Shimano Deore M610 rear derailleur.
    I tried to get them together but never worked, what should I change cassette, derailleur or shifter?
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    Muhammed Mansour
    29/05/2020 at 05:24
    I got Alivio 9 speed derailleur after your comment Relaj, thank you very much for the help.
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    09/06/2020 at 14:20
    I ride on paved roads, but because of physical limitations, I purchased a MTB. It has a SunRun 7-speed freewheel with 14-16-18-20-22-24-28 sprockets and a Shimano rear derailleur with an indexed shifter. Often, I find myself looking for a taller gear. I have found a 13-15-17-19-21-24-28 SunRace freewheel but I think that I might actually like a 12T sprocket on top.
    What I’d like to do is ADD a 12T and replace the 20 and 22 for a 21T on my SunRun freewheel. That would give me 12-14-16-18-21-24-28. I have searched everywhere and can’t find out about interchange-ability of sprockets. Not only that, but I am having trouble even finding single sprockets for purchase.
    Do you have any information that would help me do this? Or, do you know of a link that lists which sprockets work on which freewheels?
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      09/06/2020 at 15:55
      I don’t know that separate freewheel sprockets are available for sale today.
      There are two solutions that I can think of (one not excluding the other):
      1) Get cranks with larger chainrings.
      2) Change the rear hub (or the entire wheel) for a freehub one, so a 7 speed cassette can be mounted. Cassettes come readily available with the gearing setup you mentioned.
      Note that most modern freehubs will need some extra spacers if mounting a 7 speed cassette on them, as explained in the post about bicycle rear hub compatibility.
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    09/06/2020 at 18:42
    Thanks for the quick response.
    I think I’ll just purchase the SunRace 13-28 freewheel. If that isn’t enough, then I’ll look into getting a new wheel with a freehub.
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    10/06/2020 at 17:59
    a simple question for you the specialists!
    before i buy the wrong part , i would like to be sure if i can put a campagnolo veloce 9v cassette on a campagnolo exa-drive free hub?
    i know that exa drive and ultra drive are the old and new technologies but better asking first before paying!
  1. xavier
    10/06/2020 at 18:21
    thanks for the link
    i confirm i have the exa-drive which is the “old” technology.
    i would like to change the cassette as i have a 9 sp cassette 13-23 and i would like to have a 13-26 or 13-28 and i was wondering if i could simply buy a new campagnolo 9 sp cassette and mount the latter on my free wheel hub
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      10/06/2020 at 20:48
      For all I know, new Campagnolo 9 speed cassettes are Ultra Drive. They will not fit an Exa-drive hub.
      Though vice-versa (Ultra drive freehub with an Exa-drive cassette) can fit, though it offers poor mating interface, possibly damaging (aluminium) freehub splines. But it can fit.
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    30/07/2020 at 19:23
    which is the best compatible cassette for SRAM PG-830 11-32T 8speed and SRAM PC830?
    please suggest mechanical disc pads for Shimano M415?
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      30/07/2020 at 20:10
      For the cassette: any Shimano, or SRAM 8-speed cassette will work.
      I go for whichever one I can find at the lowest price, at the moment of purchase.
      For the brake pads, Shimano B01S are resing (“organic”) pads that work fine.
      If you have brake discs (rotors) that can take sintered (“metallic”) pads, and if you ride long descends with lots of hard braking, then you could look for metallic brake pads.
      However, I haven’t tried these brakes with metallic pads, so can’t recommend any particular model.
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    Nicolas Hanssens
    06/04/2021 at 22:12
    Hello Relja and many thanks for your website !
    I just have one question. You wrote about 11 speed : “Sprockets are 1.6 mm thick, spaced at 3.74 mm (road), or 3.9 mm (MTB).” and “11 speed road has a longer freehub body, while MTB 11 speed cassette fits 8-9-10 speed freehub”.
    So I don’t understand why cassette MTB with a larger spaced is narrower that cassette road. Is possible or is a mistake ?
    PS : please be forgiving for my english… 😉
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      07/04/2021 at 07:59
      Hello Nicolas,
      A good questions. I will edit the article when I find the time, to make that clear. Briefly:
      MTB cassettes have a rather large biggest sprocket. So it “climbs” onto the wheel, over the hub’s flange.
      Spokes are at an angle, moving away from the hub’s flange, so that makes some extra room.
      Road bicycle cassettes have smaller biggest sprocket, so that’s not possible. It would get stuck against the spokes on the hub’s flange.
      That is why the freehub body (the part where the cassette is mounted) is wider for 11-speed road bicycle wheels (and cassettes), while MTB 11-speed cassettes fit nicely on the same freehub that fits 8 to 10-speed cassettes.
      Hope I’ve explained this well enough. 🙂
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      Nicolas Hanssens
      07/04/2021 at 20:30
      Hello Rejla,
      It’s perfectly clear, thank you. The great spider of MTB cassette is like “curved” up the flange of the hub.
      But, I was surprised by the difference between pitch of 11s mtb and 11s road of Shimano, so I have mesured today on 3 cassettes :
      – Shimano CS 6800 11-28 (road)
      – Sunrace 11s 11-28 (road)
      – Sunrace 11s 11-42 (MTB)
      All the cassettes have the same pitch while Sunrace 11-42 is compatible with Shimano MTB 11s, so I think that Shimano MTB 11s is the same too, no ? Are you sure about the different picth ?
      Obviously, it’s better to mesure a shimano MTB to be sure.
      Many thanks
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      08/04/2021 at 06:50
      Hello Nicolas,
      I don’t know about Sunrace. And I will double-check with Shimano cassettes.
      This does call for it as well: based on my experiment, it seems that Shimano 11 speed road shifters and derailleurs can work even with a Shimano MTB 11-speed cassette:
      Pairing Shimano 11speed MTB cassette with a road groupset
      In addition to that, in my experience, Sunrace is generally compatible with Shimano, so I would expect them to have copied the exact dimensions as Shimano makes.
      More measuring is in order. 🙂
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      08/04/2021 at 10:00
      I have re-measured, with two brand new high/mid-end 11-speed cassettes:
      Road CS-R8000 (Shimano 105)
      MTB CS-M7000 (Shimano Deore SLX)
      The measured width of the entire cassette:
      Road: 40 mm (per calculation it should be 39)
      MTB: 40.9 mm (per calculation it should be 40.6)
      The measured width of the largest 3 sprockets (they are placed on the same spider – but I measured sprocket width alone):
      Road: 9.15 mm (per calculation it should be 9.08)
      MTB: 9.6 (per calculation it should be 9.4)
      Sprocket width:
      1.6 for both cassettes
      Spacer width:
      I’ve measured exactly 2.2 mm for both cassettes!?!
      To confirm and eliminate any possible error, or bias, I asked a colleague from Planet-Bike service to do the measuring as well.
      He’s mix-matched 11-speed road and MTB cassettes with no problems and was convinced they are exactly the same, suggesting he needn’t even measure.
      I agreed they work perfectly fine in practice, but Shimano says they aren’t 1-1 compatible, and I wish to confirm if they really are exactly the same, or just not different enough for it to make a noticeable difference in practice.
      His measurement also showed that the MTB cassette is slightly wider.
      We hadn’t measured the exact distance between adjacent sprockets, because that is very difficult to measure accurately. At least using the tools we had (callipers). I think it’s more accurate to measure across several sprockets, preferably the entire cassette, as we did.
      His practical experience “aligns” with mine: he too has used a Shimano MTB 11-speed cassette, with Shimano 11-speed road shifter and derailleur – and it worked fine.
      He also tried what I hadn’t so far: using a Shimano road 11-speed cassette with a Shimano MTB 11-speed shifters and derailleur – and says that too works perfectly fine in practice and on the workstand.
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    28/04/2021 at 08:09
    Hi Relja,
    Thanks so much for the great work!
    You are the new Sheldon Brown, I constantly reference your website for my mixing and matching need.
    I had great success using a 2009 campagnolo veloce ultrashift shifters(2.8 mm pull) with a 8 speed (1.4 ratio) campagnolo dérailleur : the resulting movement ( 2.8×1.4=3.92 mm) closely match a 10 speed shimano cassette, even if we know that the pull is not constant.
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      28/04/2021 at 09:38
      Haven’t tried that combo, but yes, it makes sense – the numbers add up. 🙂
      Thanks for the feedback.
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    27/05/2021 at 20:52
    Hi Relja,
    Thanks so much for all this valuable information! I’m currently replacing my road bike’s (Giant SCR3) 8-speed components as they’ve worn out and I’ve managed to get my hands on some good 11-speed 105 deals. My bike is relatively old (2006) and the freehub is a Tiagra fh-4400. I believe this can go up to 10-speed (?) but certainly not 11-speed. From your details, would I be able to fit an 11-speed mtb cassette (say an 11-40 SLX cassette – I’d like the range anyway), or do I just have to get a new rear wheel? I probably will change the wheels at some point, but I don’t really have the budget to do it right now.
    Many thanks
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      27/05/2021 at 21:23
      Hi Leo,
      In my experience, a Shimano 11-speed MTB cassette works well enough with Shimano 11 speed road shifter and derailleur.
      My friend has been very happy with such setup, for almost two years now. Here’s the video:
      Pairing Shimano 11speed MTB cassette with a road groupset
      You will most probably need a derailleur hanger extender (like “Wolf-Tooth”).
      The video’s description has a(n affiliate) link that shows what I mean.
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      27/05/2021 at 21:26
      Thanks very much for your response, that’s good to know. Do you have any idea about the 11-speed MTB cassette fitting onto my freehub (which is limited to 10-speed road)?
      Many thanks
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      27/05/2021 at 22:00
      It should fit. An 11-speed road cassette won’t, but an 11-speed MTB cassette will.
      11-speed MTB cassettes are designed so that the largest cog is rather large in diameter, and able to “climb” over the hub flange, towards the spokes.
      11-speed road cassettes have smaller largest cog, so it would get stuck against the hub flange (and the spokes) on a 8-to-10-speed freeehub, so it requires a wider freehub body.
  1. Ivica
    09/07/2021 at 09:09
    Pozz Relja; nasao sam jeftino treking biciklo sa manje ostecenja. Treba zamjeniti zadnju felgu i cijeli srednji pogon zajedno sa BB. Oprema je pozadi alivio 8 brzina. Problem je sto sam kupio felgu sa 9 brzinskom kasetom; je li moguće prebaciti kasetu? I drugo pitanje; kad vec mijenjam stavio bih Hollowtech pogon; nasao sam fc 470 za 30e i pise da mu je duljina 121 mm; moj bb cetvrtaljka je 122mm?
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    Yavor Parashkevov
    20/01/2022 at 09:44
    Hey guys,
    i wonder if I could use any 11 speed cassette on my sunringle SRC hub. Can you help me by telling me a model of such cassette?
    Thanks in advance! Cheers!
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    23/02/2022 at 08:03
    Hello Relja,
    Thank you for putting up so much information, really appreciate it.
    I had a couple of question that I’d really appreciate if you would answer.
    Firstly, I have a Decathlon Triban RC 100, Flat bar with a 12-28t Microshift cassette and 44t crank, nothing fancy and I ride mostly in the hills. So, is it better to go for say a 11-46t cassette or a small 36t crank for climbing easier? If both, where will I notice the most difference?
    Secindly, I have figured from all the reading that I can go for a 10 speed, 11-46 Deore cassette on my road bike, but I will require a Deore derailleur and a Deore shifter. Is that correct or do I have other options?
    Thanks in advance and stay safe!
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      23/02/2022 at 09:44
      Short answer:
      I’d find some, new or used (2nd hand), friction bar-end shifters, triple road cranks (30-39-50) and a triple road front derailleur, while keeping the RD and the existing cassette.
      For the really low gearing, using friction shifters, one could also use MTB triple cranks with an MTB triple FD (22-32-44 and similar).
      If the frame has housing stops for the FD (since it’s a 1x as far as I know), or if those can be mounted (depending on the tubing design, that can be more or less of a hassle). If not, then a more expensive, higher quality 1x drivetrain will be needed. Probably costing more than the whole bike when it’s new.
      Other options may end up being less good or at least more expensive for good quality with a wide range.
      Longer answer:
      There are dozens of options – and the choice depends on one’s budget, criteria, priorities etc.
      It boils down to using friction shifters or, if going with indexed shifters, making sure that the derailleur(s), shifters and cassettes/chainrings are all matched to work with each other.
      (friction vs indexed shifters)
      Road RDs can be fitted with a longer hanger to accommodate for larger cassette sprockets – as shown in this video:
      Pairing Shimano 11speed MTB cassette with a road groupset
      If using 10-speed MTB RD (like 10-speed Deore), you’d need a matching shifter.
      For up to 9 speeds, Shimano MTB and road shifters and derailleurs are compatible (older generation 9-speed Deore RDs for example work fine with up to 9-speed road shifters), but the shifter’s number of speeds still needs to match the cassette, of course.
      There are practically dozens of different permutations of those components, with different models and numbers of speeds – and they work fine when they are matched (pull-ratios, number of speeds etc.).
      That’s why I’ve made a series of articles in this compatibility section – so everyone can see what their choice is, depending on what’s available and their other criteria.
      I like cheap and robust – so I choose double or triple chainrings, paired with friction shifters. This gives me a wide range of gearing (low enough for long, steep climbs, as well as high enough for the wind at my back on the flats). 7-speed cassettes (and chains for that matter) are more than enough for me when paired with triple cranks – while friction shifters let me go with practically any RD I get a hold of.
      Unlike triples, 1x systems (only one front chainring) require a huge gearing space to be covered by the cassette alone (1x systems pros and cons).
      So with the Triban 100, you’ll need to decide: changing the cranks, adding a FD and a front shifter, or looking for a greater-range cassette.
      When it comes to the cassette, unless your existing shifter is friction-shifter, you’ll need a new shifter for anything except 7-speed cassettes (if that’s what’s on the bike).
      Another problem is that 10+ speed MTB RDs require MTB shifters (generally speaking) – and those shifters can’t be really elegantly mounted on drop-bars.
      When it comes to which gearing choice is better – this online gear calculator is a great tool, so you can see for yourself.
      I personally find 36T cranks to be a bit too small for the flats – even with 11 teeth at the back.
      For the long and steep climbs, on the other hand, 36T is a lot better than 40 or more, especially with the “normal” cassettes that go to up to 34 teeth (the ones that are not rare, expensive and look like a big plate 🙂 ).
      The only practical way to make 1x drivetrain be versatile enough is to have a cassette with a huge range – which is costly if going with indexed road bike shifters (STI levers) and a matching RD. Cassettes and chains are also more expensive (wide-ranged 10, 11 or 12-speed cassettes).
  4. c6f39168a8ad74ce501ae8e5bf195933.jpg

    Brain Clark
    13/04/2022 at 16:46
    Concerning 11 speed spacing:
    “Sprockets are 1.6 mm thick, spaced at 3.74 mm (road), or 3.9 mm (MTB). ” Where did this specification come from?
    I’m asking this as I’m converting a bike to 11-speed and considering my cassette options. Given the road freehub is 1.8mm wider, I’m leaning towards a CS-HG700-11 cassette which has the removable 1.8mm spacer to allow install on a 8-9-10 HG Freehub. I may have spoke clearance issues, but the investigation into compatibility has lead me down the rabbit hole of looking closer at Shimano road vs. mountain 11-speed cog pitch.
    If you look up the Shimano parts manual the XT cassette (CS-M8000) and a Durace Cassette (CS-9000) they both list a 2.18mm thick spacer. I have both of these cassettes and the CS-9000 spacer measures 2.14mm and the CS-M8000 measures 2.24mm. This could be manufacturing tolerance. IDK
    I have these two cassettes and took several pictures side by side. I removed the small cogs to the first 2.18mm spacer and placed them side by side. I did this in a few configurations. See the pictures here. In two images there appears to be a small stack height difference but I believe that to be due to camera angle. Most of them the sprockets look aligned. In the one that looks misaligned, if 3.74 and 3.9 mm pitch held, the difference across the 8 cogs shown would be 1.28 mm. If you use the cog thickness as reference the difference is much smaller. This with the other pictures lead me to believe they are the same.
    Based on these results I’m lead to believe the pitch between a road and MTB 11 speed cassette is the same. Your real world results (
    ) seem to back this up. I have measured several cogs on both cassettes and they are both 1.6 mm thick as you state. This would lead me to conclude they both have a pitch of 3.78 mm.
    I would also point to Shimano’s GRX web page which list both Road and MTB cassettes as compatible with this group.
    Do you have any explanation of the evidence I have that would still conclude the road and mountain Shimano 11 speed cassette to have a different cog pitch?
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      13/04/2022 at 17:28
      Hi Brain,
      The cassette pitch given is a calculated average after measuring the entire cassette width
      – cassette width, minus one sprocket width (half for each side, to get the distance from middle to middle of the smallest and largest sprocket)
      – divided by the number of sprockets reduced by one (with / (sprocket count – one) )
      My first hand experience and following measurements seem to show that Shimano 11-speed road and MTB cassettes are (virtually) identical (too little difference to make a difference).
      I.e. my last measurement results show 3.84 mm for the road, and 3.93 mm for the MTB cassette.
      If what you say for the GRX is true (no doubt – just at this moment the page says “maintenance”), that means Shimano implies they are identical for all practical purposes.
      I’ll edit the article with a note that whatever the exact measures and pitch are (not sure how to measure it accurately in a more “direct” way), the cassettes can be mix-matched for all practical purposes.
  5. c6f39168a8ad74ce501ae8e5bf195933.jpg

    Brian Clark
    13/04/2022 at 20:08
    Thanks for the info. I’ve seen the 3.74 and 3.9 floating around the internet. Perhaps they got it from you :). I’ll have some more accurate measurement tools available to me later this year so I’ll see if I can come up with anything better. I feel like short of 3D blue light scanning and 3D modeling, we will never know.
    I’m also curious if maybe it’s not 100% even. IDK. It’s hard to measure across the carriers. I’ve come up with 3.8 – 3.85 as well. I don’t think my calipers are that accurate so I’ll take it with a grain of salt. I’ll have some larger micrometers available soon so I’ll measure again.
    I’ve noticed the cogs on the carrier of my XT cassette are thicker than the Dura Ace cogs. Especially the 40t. The Dura Ace cogs seem more consistent. This makes comparing the two hard. That’s why in the pictures I compared the smaller cogs and they seem more consistent.
    This is becoming academic. I agree that for all practical purposes they are interchangeable.
    I can say for sure that my CS-M8000 11-40 11sp XT cassette on my 8 speed Dura Ace wheel (130mm spacing) works in the smallest cog without hitting the frame of my 2000 Cannondale XR800 and clears the spokes in the 40 by a large margin. This seems to give me an upgrade path to 11 speed with an CS-HG700-11 Cassette and 11-speed shifters and GS rear derailleur. It uses a removable 1.8 mm spacer for MTB HG compatibility (or older road 8,9 hubs). Good food for thought for anyone looking to upgrade an older bike. This bike has 1996 Dura Ace which leaves few options to replace worn parts. I was glad to see your video and comments on your mismatch of road and mountain with no issues after one year. This gave me confidence to move forward.
    I’m glad I found you. Thank you Google.
    • 3fd0d771d754ced79ca6b702635900b5.jpg

      14/04/2022 at 09:12
      I got some more precise (digital) callipers, but I don’t do any re-measuring, until I see something being off – as was/is the case with the 11-speed cassette compatibility.
      The whole compatibility series of articles was written for my own convenience – with a constant shortage of parts and money in my country and always mix-matching. The main reason for translating it into English was to more easily answer frequently asked questions and for “why not” reasons. 🙂
      However, judging by the number of comments, it seems that a lot of people are having the same dilemmas and problems, so it ended up being a lot more useful than expected.
      It’s understandable that bike companies have both financial and legal reasons to keep their “official” recommendations a lot more “conservative,” but it does make one’s life a lot more difficult when mix-matching, instead of buying a whole new groupset.
  1. Dorin
    13/12/2022 at 15:39
    Re: 11s MTB pitch…
    For the record, one should keep in mind that those black aluminium sprockets on 11-speed MTB cassettes are thicker than the steel ones (about 2 mm vs 1.6 mm). That could throw off the calculations a bit.
  2. 89751a847b805c9c9a08220ca0cadf91.jpg

    21/01/2023 at 16:30
    I have a cyclo cross bike with an 11 speed SRAM PG-1170, 11-36, road cassette paired with a SRAM force rear mech. I’ve been wanting to fit a pair of wheels on this bike from a 29er mtb with DT Swiss 240 MTB Hubs with a 10/11 speed freehub body fitted. I hadn’t appreciate all the complexity with 10/11 speed compatibility between road and MTB and found this blog and the comments really useful.
    I didn’t want a huge 11 speed MTB cassette with a 50 sprocket (all the Shimano and SRAM 11 speed MTB cassettes all seem to have a 48 or 50 sprocket) as that isn’t ideal for cyclocross or gravel and a Shimano or SRAM 11 speed road cassette won’t fit the freehub as these cassettes are too wide.
    My solution has been to use a Sunrace CSMS8 cassette. These are 11 speed MTB cassettes and for the mtb 10/11 freehub but you can get an 11-36 which is much better for the cyclo-cross/gravel bike.
    In terms of spacing of sprockets I have compared the SRAM road cassette and the Sunrace MTB cassette and I can’t tell any difference in width, although it’s quite hard to measure precisely. Visually, all the sprockets line up. Gears run smoothly, even under load
    Hopefully others will find this useful
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